S.A.D. is Coming – Here’s How to Beat the Winter Blues (And Make Money Too)

Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

The season of S.A.D. is coming, which stands for seasonal affective disorder where the winter blues just get to you. 

For the most part, you feel listless and everything feels like a chore dampening the holiday’s cheer. One of the most popular ways to beat it is light therapy, lamps that mimic outdoor light if you can’t physically soak in the sun. 

Another way is to just preoccupy yourself, particularly with FUN things to do. Even better when fun activities double as money-making activities, which we’ve listed out below. Don’t let the season get to you, have fun with these apps, and come out on the other side with some extra spending money.

1. Get Paid Up to $600+ Listening to Free Music

Current is a free Google Play app that literally pays you to listen to music. The more music played, the more you can earn points to redeem for cash, gift cards, and rewards. Choose from 100,000+ radio stations worldwide to discover new music or revisit your favorite artists.

Reward options include Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Google Play gift cards, PayPal Cash, plus tech prizes. Earn up to $600/year or more just listening to free music from your Android lock screen.

Other ways you can earn while listening to music (all optional):

  • Completely simple tasks/offers + surveys
  • Play games, the longer you play the more you earn
  • Watch simple 30-second video ads
  • Refer friends to get up to $250 and 5% of their music earnings for life

Turn on the app whenever you want to listen to music and earn extra money while doing errands, jogging, working, or when you need a mood booster!

2. A Legit Way to Earn $750 This Week

You can get $750 direct deposited into your Cash App account and all you have to do is try out some deals. The catch? You can only do this once a year!

Seriously, anyone 18+ can join Flash Rewards is a rewards program that’s been around since 2016 and has rewarded $11 million dollars to members over time.

So how do you get the money? Answer: You just have to follow the instructions carefully!

Flash Rewards work by showing you “deals” they think you would like. This includes mobile apps and games, subscriptions, financial services, etc. Each type of deal you choose has its own mini task to complete.

  1. Head over to Flash Rewards and fill out basic info (Email, Name, etc.)
  2. Take a quick Survey (it helps them figure out what offers & deals to recommend you)
  3. See if any Offers interest you (optional)
  4. Important: Get to Level 5 and follow the instructions on completing the specific number of deals for each level

You won’t get your reward if you don’t complete the required amount of deals. Sure, it takes a little more effort but it’s legit. Get your $750!

3. Get Paid for Playing Free Digital Scratch-Offs

Don’t bother going to the store to buy physical scratchers (they get expensive too).

Instead, play digital scratchers for free on Lucktastic to win money from the comfort of your home.

There are a ton of different scratchers to play where you can earn both cash prizes and tokens. Tokens turn into gift cards or contest entries so collect as much as you can!

PRO-TIP to get the most gift cards for free: The more you play, the more big bonuses you can unlock! Play all your scratch cards, look out for Today’s Bonus, and head to the Reward Wall to discover more fun games and cool products. That’ll build up your tokens much faster to redeem for more rewards!

Redeem tokens for:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • Walmart gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Check mailed to you
  • Payouts start at just $5!
  • Contest entries into big cash winnings

Lucktastic keeps things free by showing a few ads here and there plus it’s easy to play and multi-task at the same time. And until 12/8, a winner will get a chance to win an extra $250 in the Sugar Plum Surprise giveaway!

4. The World’s First App That Pays You to Pay Rent

Paying rent each month is non-negotiable but with Piñata, you’ll get paid to pay rent on time.

It’s super simple. Pay rent on time and earn rewards and discounts for doing so. Plus get optional boosts to your credit score too (average increase of 42 points!)

Piñata is completely free to use and any renter can join. Members save over $4,500 a year!

Every time rent is paid, the member gets $20 Piñata Cash, which can then be saved and redeemed for free gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, The Container Store, Class Pass, and more. You’ll also get access to Piñata Perks, a marketplace that has over 300K+ deals to help you save even more money on top of your rewards.

New members get a welcome bonus of $20 Piñata Cash as well as a $30 gift card so sign up for free now to start getting rewarded for rent day!

5. Not Your Grandma’s Bingo - Play Anywhere for Cash

Ditch the paper sheets and giant stamps in favor of Blackout Bingo on Samsung, a fast-paced and competitive bingo game that you can play anywhere on your phone. And even against your friends virtually.

2 minutes. That’s all you need per game where you play against another person around the world. Everyone sees the same card and balls so by daubing (tapping the number) fast and correctly, you’ll get bonus boosts for more points!

You can play for free against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win cash and currently, there is a $139,711 prize pool to get in on! Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, MT, SC, SD, and TN but you can still play for awesome prizes.

6. Make Easy Money Just Trying and Playing Games

There are so many new games coming out on the daily that it’s hard to choose which to play, even if we’re experiencing extra time at home.

My strategy? Only focus on the games that pay for my time.

You can do it with AppStation, an Android app that pays you to try out new games.

When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And too much more to list

Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.

If your friends want to get it on the money action from afar, introduce them to AppStation on Google Play, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!

7. Get Paid in Gift Cards if You’re Chill with Lock Screen Ads

The average person unlocks their phone 110 times per day – that’s a lot of time spent looking at a screen for free.

With S’more you get paid every day you unlock your Android. It’s even easier than it sounds, and since you can cash out with as little as $1 there’s no waiting around for your rewards.

New features make it even easier to earn for stuff you’re already doing too. Earn rewards by using your lock screen, watching videos, shopping, and even trying out apps.

S’mores pays in gift cards so you can redeem for:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • CVS
  • GameStop
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Starbucks and more!

Just use your Android normally, and your earnings will apply daily. Plus until 12/22, get double the points!

8. More New Games, More Cash to Earn

When you’re ready to add even more games to your lineup, then download Cash ‘Em All, an Android app that pays you to try out new games for yes, you guessed it, for cash. All are free to download!

Just earn coins from trying new games, and then you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And more good stuff

A 4,444 coin welcome bonus is yours immediately too when you sign in.  (Worth 50 cents!) If you’re impatient, you can cash out as low as $1 as well.

Enjoy playing new-to-you games for some side fun money on your Android!

9. Fetch All Your Receipts (Even Virtual) & Get Free Money Back

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Check your pockets; check your purse. And keep email receipts.

Grab all the recent receipts you have and scan them into Fetch Rewards to earn points towards free money. Even better? Connect your email inbox and it’ll count your email receipts too from Amazon, Instacart, Shipt, and more!

Basically, shop at any store (grocery, drugstore, warehouse, everywhere and online), snap a pic with the app, and boom, you’ve got points for money. Upload your restaurant and drive-thru receipts too.

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store and it’ll automatically reward you.

Be sure to grab 2,000 welcome points on us when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

10. Over $7 Million Paid Out to Steady Members to Date - Sign Up for Your Share!

Over 3 million people are already using Steady to find extra income, and on average members make $5,500 a year more!

Once you link your bank account (it’s secure!), the app’s Income Tools feature will give you personal insights into the extra money you’re making.

Plus, earn extra cash rewards through their Income Boosters perk too. Basically, get paid to try out useful brands to help manage your money even more.

It only takes a few minutes to sign up for free and answer some work history questions and what type of job you’re looking to see opportunities immediately!

11. This Paid Survey Panel Gives Out 7,000 Gift Cards Daily

There are a lot of survey programs out there, but none as popular as Swagbucks, a free rewards program where you can earn cash for your time and opinion. Members can earn an average of $50 a month!

You get rewarded for doing surveys, searching the web, reading articles, watching videos, and playing fun games but the one activity that earns you the most points is completing surveys. (Don’t skip out on those!)

Points can then be redeemed for free gift cards, cash, and sweepstakes entries. All just by completing fun activities and giving your opinions.

New members can get a free $5 just for signing up, so join the other 10 million members already part of Swagbucks and start earning free rewards!

12. Try Out New Games and Earn Gift Cards for Amazon

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

Want to make some pocket money? We’ve got a way, but there’s a catch. It’s gift cards only. That said, these gift cards are solid. They’re for Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and more.

Rewarded Play is an app that could help you earn hundreds of dollars in gift cards. All for playing games on your phone. There’s nobody to compete against to win, and no limit on how much you can earn. The more you play, the more rewards you could get.

Is it legit? Yes. The gift cards you earn get sent to you digitally, and you don’t have to spend any money to get them. Sure, it’s not a million dollars. But it’s better than wasting time with games that don’t pay. Download the app for free here, and start stacking up the gift cards.

13. Get Paid Up to $225/Month Watching Viral Videos and Taking Fun Surveys

If you’re looking for an easy way to snag a little extra cash by being online, look no further. Inbox Dollars has a wide array of ways to make some money on the side.

Founded in 2000, Inbox Dollars has been around and paying customers for their opinions for over 19 years and counting! They are one of the most trusted survey sites with fun, multiple ways to earn extra cash that sets them apart from the others.

You can stick to sharing your opinion and take surveys, but you can also watch videos, play games, and even read email for some extra cash. Who wouldn’t want to watch viral videos and get paid up to $225 a month?

They also offer cash back for online shopping and coupon cash rewards to use at the grocery store too!

So if you’re looking for some extra cash and enjoy a wide array of options to earn, Inbox Dollars is a great platform to make a little side money. It’s free to sign up, so give it a try today!

14. Get Paid to Try New Games. Every Gamer’s Dream.

Play games = make some money. All you need is Mistplay, an Android game platform where you can try new games to earn points redeemable for gift cards like Amazon, VISA, PlayStation Network, XBOX Live, and more.

In this Google Play app, all available free games are listed so just take your pick to try, especially high unit multiplier games! For example, the 4x unit multiplier games will earn you 8 times more units (and dollars) per level than the 0.5x unit multiplier games. Plus there are weekly contests and bonuses to earn even more.

You’ll only get paid for playing games if Mistplay is running so be sure to always install games from the Mistplay app! New members get a BONUS 250 units just for signing up.

15. Instantly Get Paid $1 for Each Survey (No Limit!)

SurveyTime will instantly pay $1 after each survey completion. No waiting around to accrue at least $15 to cash out like other sites, just get paid right after!

Take as many available surveys as you want since there’s no limit. Then choose between popular gift cards, PayPal, or Bitcoin via Coinbase.

It’s free & easy to start. Be sure to check your confirmation email to answer a few intro questions.

It takes a few days for the system to learn your profile to match you with the best surveys so expect to be disqualified in the beginning. Then you can take as many surveys as you want. On average, each survey could take 10 minutes with some being as quick as 3 minutes!

16. Switch to Car Insurance as Low as $29/Month to Save Big

When was the last time you thought about car insurance? Most people only think about their insurance if they’re involved in an accident but rates change constantly.

Meaning you could be saving a lot of money and you wouldn’t have even known. On average, you’re probably spending $800+/year more than you need to.

You can easily check how much you can save with QuoteWizard, an auto insurance matching service provided by LendingTree. It’s just one form, and they’ll search through providers that include known companies like State Farm, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and more.

Your monthly rate could be as low as $29/month! All you need is to fill out one form that asks the usual questions related to driver, car, and location and you’ll be matched with the best-for-you options. It’s easy and free to check, so see how you can save!

17. Get $5 to Invest in Google, Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, and More

Office Manager Sarah investing with $5 / Danny Guinta /*Photo for illustrative purposes only

You might think that investing is complicated. Or that you’ll never get a share of these well-known brands like Google, Amazon, Tesla, etc., but you can. And you don’t have to be rich either.

That’s because Stash, an investment app, lets you start investing with just $1. You can choose where to put your money in and they provide guidance and tools to help you along the way. You can invest in some of the major companies that you use or buy from regularly to make a custom Personal Portfolio.

With Stash Growth and Stash+, you can also choose the Smart Portfolio option which offers hands-off stress-free investing since Stash will invest for you based on your risk tolerance. Plus claim bonus stock when you attend Stash’s virtual Stock Parties!

As a bonus, Stash is giving new members $5 for any first investment so create an account to get started.

18. Scan the Stuff You Buy & Get Free Rewards

The exclusive National Consumer Panel (NCP) program is opening up again for more participants! Make your voice heard and get paid for it!

Panelists use the app to scan barcodes of items purchased & provide details. You’ll then earn points for gift cards, tech like tablets and flat-screen TVs, and much more from their gift catalog!

The more you share your shopping habits (scan barcodes), the more rewards you can get. It’s a fun way to earn more rewards on items you’ve already purchased and at no extra cost to you.

Register now to see if you’re eligible to be a National Consumer Panelist. If you don’t get accepted based on your location, don’t worry!  They’re always expanding locations, so check back again.

19. School Competitors in Solitaire and Ca$h In

When you’re looking for something to do at home, check out Solitaire Cube, which is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash.

The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so all is fair. You could win some serious cash and prizes, like Katie N. who took home $380,984 as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players! Even casual players like Amanda, a stay-at-home mom from IL, won a 55″ TV, $6,000, and was able to recarpet her home.

It’s easy to start:

  1. Tap now to download from the Samsung Galaxy Store
  2. Follow the instructions on screen to install
  3. Open the app and play!
  4. Practice playing for free and when ready, play for cash!

So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire Cube to win legit cash, definitely download this game for free to play on your Samsung.

Cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.

20. Get Free Stock Worth Up to $225

@MayoFi | Unsplash

Investing may seem expensive and most people put it off until they have “enough” money for it.

But time is the most important factor and Robinhood lets new investors get started with just $1.

This free trading app lets you trade stocks, ETFs, and options, along with cryptocurrency, commission-free! When your application is approved, they’ll give free stock worth $2.50 up to $225 for new members, with chances to get a high-value stock in Facebook, Microsoft, etc.

With a near-perfect 4.8 score from 2.3 million people, it’s a popular app that you should check out if you’re interested in investing.

21. Instantly Raise Your Credit Scores (For Free!) Using Phone & Utility Bills

Adobe

The 3 most important digits of your life are your credit scores. Get an instant increase for free with Experian Boost™ which adds your positive payment history from phone, utility, & streaming services payments to your Experian® credit file. (Yes, your Netflix® payment counts!*)

On average, members see a 13 point increase. All you need is a free Experian membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you use to pay bills so Experian can credit your history properly.

This process doesn’t hurt your credit at all and you can choose to remove the boost if you want. Try out the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores!

Results may vary, see website for details.

22. Free Cash Back on Groceries, Gas, and More!

If you’re not already using a Cash Back app, you should. You literally get free money back on your purchases, so why not? Earn real cash on items you already buy every day!

Download Checkout 51, a free rebates app where you’ll get Cash Back on items like groceries, gas, pharmacy, and more.

Every Thursday, new offers will appear that you can add to your list. Shop at your favorite retailer in-store or online, upload your receipt, and earn Cash Back! Rewards can go up to $10, depending on the products you buy.

Plus, earn money on your gas purchases – just find the nearest gas station in-app, pump your gas, and upload your receipt!

Checkout 51 has tons of ways to save money. Once you’ve earned $20, you can easily redeem via Paypal or check. New members even get a free $1 cash back for uploading their first receipt!


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